Ab McDonald, who won the Stanley Cup in each of his first four NHL seasons, died Tuesday. He was 82.
McDonald, whose given name was Alvin, scored what proved to be the Blackhawks’ championship-clinching goal in the 1961 Stanley Cup Final against the Red Wings.
That capped a remarkable streak after McDonald was part of three championship teams with the Canadiens from 1958-60.
McDonald was the first captain in Penguins history in 1967-68 and held the same distinction with his hometown Winnipeg Jets of the WHA with whom he finished his playing career in 1974. McDonald also scored the first goal in Jets history.
We are deeply saddened by the passing of the Penguins’ first captain, Ab McDonald. We offer our heartfelt condolences to Ab’s family and friends. pic.twitter.com/YXhWMXvaQy
— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) September 5, 2018
On behalf of all of us who currently wear the Jets logo, I’d like to extend our condolences to the friends and family of the original captain – Ab McDonald. He was a true ambassador for the game and our franchise, as well as a Stanley Cup champion
— Blake Wheeler (@BiggieFunke) September 5, 2018
“Ab McDonald was an important member of the Chicago Blackhawks family and will forever have a connection to the 1961 Stanley Cup championship team,” the Blackhawks said in a statement (via the Chicago Sun-Times). “In addition to his many contributions on the ice throughout his 14-year National Hockey League career, Ab was very involved in the Blackhawks Alumni Association upon retirement and made it a priority to give back to the game that gave so much to him. The Blackhawks organization extends their deepest condolences to the entire McDonald family and all of Ab’s friends and former teammates.”
Over 16 seaons, McDonald played in 762 NHL games and another 147 in the WHA, totaling 500 points in the two leagues wtih 211 goals.